Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Local Teams Hope to Be a Hit at Legion Wood Bat Tourney

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Local Teams Hope to Be a Hit at Legion Wood Bat Tourney

Article excerpt

It's baseball the old-fashioned way - with wood bats.

The annual American Legion Wood Bat Tourney will start today and run through Sunday in Blue Springs, Mo., in suburban Kansas City. The 32-team affair includes three local teams - St. Peters, Cottleville-Harvester and Daniel Boone.

The tournament, which draws teams from Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Illinois and Colorado, will also include St. Louis-area clubs Creve Coeur, Anheuser-Busch, Mathews-Dickey, Maryland Heights and Washington.

The tournament will also draw a good number of college and professional scouts. In fact, there'll be a pro-style tryout camp today in order to give the scouts an early glimpse of the tournament's talent base.

"It's a great opportunity for our players to see some top competition and to get some exposure," C-H manager Bill Brown said. "And that's what it's all about, isn't it? We're playing to win, sure, but the bottom line is that we'd like to give all our players a chance to play the game at the next level.

"Hopefully, our guys will have a chance to catch somebody's eye this weekend.

Teams, grouped in eight-team pools, will play one game today and two each on Friday and Saturday. The top finishers in each pool advance to the semifinals Sunday at 11 a.m. The title game is set for 2 p.m. Sunday.

"This is something the kids have been talking about all season," Daniel Boone manager Dave Tritz said. "We'll see some quality teams and there's always a little added excitement with all the scouts. Last weekend at Ballwin, you could see all the guys with their stopwatches and their notebooks. The kids see that and I think some of them tense up a little."

The wood bats are provided for each team, with a deposit required.

"We get our deposit back when we return the bats," Tritz said. "We're not charged for broken bats, it's just that the people running the tournament don't want their bats ending up in somebody's bat bag. …

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